Wednesday, June 29, 2022 |
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HILO Attention is turning to teacher pay.
HILO — Attention is turning to teacher pay.
The state Department of Education announced Wednesday it will host a series of listening sessions to gather feedback to “refine and potentially recommend changes to the teacher compensation system.”
Meetings are scheduled for Hawaii Island, Maui and Oahu before the end of this month, though no session has been scheduled for Kauai.
“Behind every student’s successes are dedicated educators who innovate, collaborate and challenge our students to exceed expectations,” DOE Superintendent Christina Kishimoto said in a news release.
“It is critical that our compensation system supports our ability to attract and retain the highest level of talent. Our community’s feedback is an important part of ensuring that any necessary refinements are done right,” Kishimoto said.
Those who are unable to attend a listening session can offer feedback through an online survey, which will be open from Monday, Sept. 23, to Sunday, Oct. 6, at bit.ly/2mgVFx7.
DOE spokeswoman Lindsay Chambers said, ideally, the sessions will help inform appropriate decision-makers as they consider compensation options for the state’s teachers.
“The Hawaii DOE, through these listening sessions and the online survey, is looking for ideas that could be brand new, or perhaps an innovative modification on the existing compensation system,” she said.
“We’re glad it’s finally happening,” said Corey Rosenlee, president of the Hawaii State Teachers Association, the union representing 13,700 public and charter school teachers across Hawaii.
Teachers in Hawaii have long known that when their salaries are adjusted for the cost of living, “we’re the lowest paid teachers in the nation,” he said. That has led to a teacher shortage crisis in the state.
Rosenlee said that, last year, more than 1,000 positions were not filled by qualified teachers, which meant about 60,000 students daily would go to school and have at least one teacher who was not qualified.
Since 2012, the number of teachers leaving the state has increased by 70 percent, he said.
“So we know that Hawaii is not competitive when it comes to teacher salaries,” said Rosenlee.
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